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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

I think it's time to switch


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cwa107

 
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Hello all, I'm new here and just began lurking to try to absorb as much as I can about the Mac and its community before I jump in.

Just a little about myself - I've been a computer geek since I was a kid. I cut my teeth on a Commodore 64 and gradually moved up to the Amiga where I really learned to love computing. As I got out of school and into the real world, I started using PCs and have been solidly in the Windows camp since Win95. I now working as a network administrator in a large enterprise environment, hold various certifications (MCSE, A+ and Network+) and even run a small PC repair business on the side. But something has happened these past few years that sort of crept up on me unexpectedly. I've found myself bored with the current crop of Windows machines. I used to love exploring new software, finding new and innovative ways of doing things, and figuring out problems and how best to fix them.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job and I love troubleshooting. But there's something about the fact that I spend the majority of my computing time troubleshooting, maintaining and basically keeping Windows machines working the way they should that bothers me. I remember being wonderfully productive on my old Amigas. Now I feel like all I do is spend my time making up for the shortcomings of Windows.

To me, Vista is the last straw. Draconian DRM schemes, a gussied-up GUI and the recommended requirement of 1GB of RAM (just for starters) do not make for a revolutionary OS - especially one that took over 6 years to build. Add that to the fact that they want an arm and a leg for even the most basic versions is simply adding insult to injury. To me Windows Vista is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig. It might look prettier - but it's still a pig.

I tried Linux for a little while, Ubuntu 6.06 and 6.10 to be more precise, but it's my opinion that Linux still has a lot more growing up to do before it's ready for prime time on the desktop. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy learning a new OS, but configuring and mastering Linux can take years - and I really don't feel like reading forums ad nauseum just to get drivers and basic functionality working. Once the Linux world starts to actually come up with some standards for even just one facet of their OS, I'll take a second look. Until then, it's just a toy to me.

So, based on my love of my iPod, I figured it's time to check into the Mac - particularly now that Apple has gone Intel. Don't get me wrong, I still think the PowerPC line is a better overall CPU than any x86 processor, but Motorola/IBM simply don't have the resources to dedicate to CPU development that Intel and AMD do. It's also handy that in the event I needed to run a Windows app, I can easily do so using Bootcamp.

I last touched a Macintosh back in the days of OS8. I can't say that I was very impressed back then, especially as someone accustomed to the overall excellence that was the Amiga, but I know the world has changed by several orders of magnitude since then. OS X just looks awesome and I'm ready to own a computer that "just works". I'd also like to feel like I'm a member of a tightly-knit community of enthusiasts once again. To me, that is the true appeal of the Mac - to be different, part of something - and ultimately, part of something that is better than the garbage Microsoft tries to shove down the throats of the masses.

OK, thanks for sticking with me, I know that was a long rant

As I said before, I'm in the market for a Mac. I've lusted after a 12" Powerbook G4 for some time now, but I really want something that runs on Intel. I've searched the forum quite a bit, but I haven't caught any rumors of Apple producing a 12" MacBook Pro (yet). Have any of you heard anything?

I've also heard a lot of rumblings about the 1st generation of Intel machines. I really would rather not stick it out and wait for the 2nd generation, but have there been any rumors of when we might expect it?

Anyway, looks like a great forum you have here and I'm looking forward to contributing to it. Thanks for listening.
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Ice Cream Man

 
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I have a MacBook Pro, but I would say wait a month to get a new one. So either it will have, or be likely for a cheap upgrade to the next OS. Not to mention MacWorld is coming up, and they release new stuff there usually. I think that's Jan 8th-12th
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eric

 
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excellent first post, got a great feel for where you're coming from.

i too have a lot of experience with computers and i'm in wintel server support for a huge electronics retailer.

but every time my mac works in a, well... mac-like way i grin from ear to ear.

one of my reasons for switching was just to learn something different (pretty much same as you it seems). and you certainly will learn some new stuff, from the bare bones of how the os functions, to compatability issues, to new and different apps, etc. it's all pretty exciting.

as far as the intel machines go... i've got the latter core duo macbook and i've had no problems. they went to core2duo a month or so ago and i haven't heard anything yet, so you should be fine.

good luck finding a mac that fits you, i hope you keep us posted on all the steps you go through (buying, first impressions, software assimialtion, etc), especially if those threads are headed with such well written posts!
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
excellent first post, got a great feel for where you're coming from.

i too have a lot of experience with computers and i'm in wintel server support for a huge electronics retailer.

but every time my mac works in a, well... mac-like way i grin from ear to ear.

one of my reasons for switching was just to learn something different (pretty much same as you it seems). and you certainly will learn some new stuff, from the bare bones of how the os functions, to compatability issues, to new and different apps, etc. it's all pretty exciting.

as far as the intel machines go... i've got the latter core duo macbook and i've had no problems. they went to core2duo a month or so ago and i haven't heard anything yet, so you should be fine.

good luck finding a mac that fits you, i hope you keep us posted on all the steps you go through (buying, first impressions, software assimialtion, etc), especially if those threads are headed with such well written posts!
Thanks. It sounds like you know exactly where I'm coming from. I'm just so bored with computers lately - and I hate that feeling. I used to have a lot of enthusiasm for them and felt like it was one of those small things that sort of "defined" me. I've lost that lately and I think that's my biggest motivator for trying something new.

Anyway, I'm dieing to get a Mac. I've been bidding on 12" PowerBooks on eBay, but have yet to find what I'm after at a good price. I'd really like an Intel machine, but I'm concerned that I won't find a whole lot of software that runs on it. Is there some sort of PPC emulation on the Intel Macs?

I thought about a MacBook, mostly because I like the smaller form factor that the 13" screen provides, but I'm not too fond of integrated graphics. I'd also like a Cardbus slot for expandability and the faster Firewire 800 port should I do any video work.

So, since I can't find exactly what I'm looking for at the moment, I think I might just wait until after Macworld to see what's new. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue lurking in Mac forums and maybe pick up a subscription to MacAddict in the meantime. I just hope that doesn't fuel the fire... but it probably will :p
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cvx5832

 
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I can't share this information enough to people like you (i.e. MYSELF) who's steeped in everything Windows for the past few years, so i'll keep saying it -

Look around for third party software that will allow you to change the mouse acceleration curve to match that of you Windows machine, at least to start.

When I started test driving Mac's, the frustration of trying to control that mouse pointer was an absolute mess. Gave me a sore hand/wrist after a few minutes of use, and just wrecked my experience altogether. Still, I knew there was something that was drawing me to Macs..

So I got on Google and found out why. Downloaded a third-party mousing software, and everything was gold after that.

Because of work I still have to be in a Windows environment everyday. No sense "changing gears" everyday when there is a reasonable solution.
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baggss

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Anyway, I'm dieing to get a Mac. I've been bidding on 12" PowerBooks on eBay, but have yet to find what I'm after at a good price. I'd really like an Intel machine, but I'm concerned that I won't find a whole lot of software that runs on it. Is there some sort of PPC emulation on the Intel Macs?

Yes there is. It's called "Rosetta" and it's part of the OSX Intel package. It allows Apple Intel machines to execute PPC code through a built in invisible emulator, you won't know it's even running. There somewhat of a performance hit when compared to a PPC machine in there, but it's not to bad.

For example, MS Office 2004 Mac was not written for the Intel Macs, but it runs nearly as well on my wife's iMac (2 Ghz CoreDuo) as it does on my Quad G5. MS Office Mac 2008 will support both the Intel and PPC machines in one package and will be what Apple terms a "Universal Binary", i.e it runs on OSX on either system architecture. Eventually they will move away from Universal and go to only Intel, but that will be some years down the road. OSX 10.5 will also be "Universal" as it will run on anything from a PPC G3 to an Intel Cor2Duo and beyond.


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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
I can't share this information enough to people like you (i.e. MYSELF) who's steeped in everything Windows for the past few years, so i'll keep saying it -

Look around for third party software that will allow you to change the mouse acceleration curve to match that of you Windows machine, at least to start.

When I started test driving Mac's, the frustration of trying to control that mouse pointer was an absolute mess. Gave me a sore hand/wrist after a few minutes of use, and just wrecked my experience altogether. Still, I knew there was something that was drawing me to Macs..

So I got on Google and found out why. Downloaded a third-party mousing software, and everything was gold after that.

Because of work I still have to be in a Windows environment everyday. No sense "changing gears" everyday when there is a reasonable solution.
Thanks for the tip. Do I understand it correctly that there are no controls to set the speed or acceleration of the mouse, or is it just that those controls don't provide the same degree of acceleration as I have come to expect on Windows machines?
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novicew

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
As I said before, I'm in the market for a Mac. I've lusted after a 12" Powerbook G4 for some time now, but I really want something that runs on Intel. I've searched the forum quite a bit, but I haven't caught any rumors of Apple producing a 12" MacBook Pro (yet). Have any of you heard anything?
Apparently there is a rumor about a 12" MBP in other websites including this one. But I wouldn't go and buy it until I know that there are no major issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I've also heard a lot of rumblings about the 1st generation of Intel machines. I really would rather not stick it out and wait for the 2nd generation, but have there been any rumors of when we might expect it?

Anyway, looks like a great forum you have here and I'm looking forward to contributing to it. Thanks for listening.
By now Apple managed to ironout all the major issues they had with the Intel Macs.

It is highly likely that Steve Jobs introduces something new on 8th January during the MacWorld Expo.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss View Post
OSX 10.5 will also be "Universal" as it will run on anything from a PPC G3 to an Intel Cor2Duo and beyond.
If a recent Leopard preview screen shot is any indicator, G3 processors will not be supported. You'll need a G4 or G5 or Intel machine.
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Originally Posted by novicew View Post
It is highly likely that Steve Jobs introduces something new on 8th January during the MacWorld Expo.
I for one am not expecting any new computers. If they do announce that, I'll expect the portable (12") Macbook Pro, or a consumer tower, the only holes in their product lines. Well, beside that draggy Intel graphics processor.

We're likely to hear more about iTV and Leopard and maybe even get better defined delivery dates. Many people expect a major update to the iLife suite too, so that would be 'new'.
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Originally Posted by xstep View Post
If a recent Leopard preview screen shot is any indicator, G3 processors will not be supported. You'll need a G4 or G5 or Intel machine.
Apple advertised at the 10.5 preview event that it would support the G3 and up.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
As I said before, I'm in the market for a Mac..
As I'm sure your know, with any computer purchase, you need to define what your needs are.

The Macbook may be fine for you if you don't require the performance of a didicated video card. iMovie and Final Cut Express will work fine on that machine. The OS has many hooks that take advantage of the dedicated graphics chips, but doesn't require it. Of course games always do better with dedicated graphics chips.

Unless you have access to a video camera that requires Firewire 800, Firewire 400 will be perfectly fine. Not all consumer video cameras come with Firewire, so check, because OS X right now does not like the USB2 only cameras. There are more hard drive enclosures with FW800 now too, but try to find out if the performance is really there.

I consider the newer laptops with the Core 2 Duo chips to be the second generation of the Apple Intel laptops. They came out recently.

Since the Macworld show is so close and you seem to have time, wait until after the keynote speech.
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Originally Posted by baggss View Post
Apple advertised at the 10.5 preview event that it would support the G3 and up.
For some reason I think I remember that in the video they released of the developer keynote. Lets hope for the sake of G3 users, that holds true.

The last G3 iBook release seems to have been April 2003. Not that old. It was replaced with a G4 in October of that year.

The first G4 tower was introduced at the end August of 1999. That is a very old machine.

I really have to wonder where the cut off point will be this time around. They don't want to support hardware that goes too far back, such as my G3 Wallstreet, which lost official support with the introduction of Panther (10.3).
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I did some searching around the web and came up with the impression that 10.5 may not support the 1st generation of G3s that Apple used. The ones that were still in the beige boxes and such.


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Here is a list of hardware that Tiger currently supports.

Notice what is missing. All of the Intel hardware. That is because you can't buy 10.4 in the store with Intel support. That will of course have to change for Leopard.

baggss, that the hardware you referred to is already not included in that list.
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